USA Women's stalwart Nadia Gruny becomes the first ever three-time winner in a single category of the awards, having claimed Women's Cricketer of the Year honors in 2012 and 2016 previously.
Picture credit: Peter Della Penna
By Peter Della Penna (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna
After a three-year hiatus, DreamCricket.com is celebrating the return of the New Inning Foundation USA Cricket Awards, which recognize USA’s standout performers at the international level. This edition of the awards will encompass performances in the 12-month span from March 2019 on USA's tour of the UAE through February 2020 during the ODI tri-series in Nepal, USA's final tour before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The recipient of the 2019-20 New Inning Foundation Women’s Cricketer of the Year honor is Nadia Gruny. The 36-year-old creates history by becoming the first three-time winner within a single category, having previously claimed the same honor in both 2012 and 2016.
For the time period, Gruny was one of six women’s players to be in the starting XI for all eight of the USA Women’s T20Is. Gruny finished as one of only three players to score 100 or more runs for USA, ending with exactly 100 in seven innings. However, the context of Gruny’s runs gave her the edge.
Despite a lean run in her two innings against Canada at the ICC Americas Regional T20 Qualifier, matches which USA won handily to advance to the 2019 Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Scotland, Gruny was far more impressive with the bat at the global qualifier. The right-hander was USA’s leading scorer on tour with 98 runs in five innings, more than twice as many as her next closest teammate in what was a difficult tour for the entire squad.
In a loss to Netherlands, Gruny carried her bat for all 20 overs and in the process became the first woman to score a T20I half-century for USA as she ended 53 not out off 60 balls including six boundaries. Gruny then followed that performance up in USA’s final match of the tournament where she anchored the USA chase against Namibia, top-scoring again with 33 as USA eventually closed out a tense victory by six wickets with seven balls to spare.
In addition to her batting, Gruny is also one of USA’s most valuable fielders, regularly patrolling long-on during the slog overs both for her solid catching skills and a strong throwing arm. She completed two catches, tied for the most of any outfielder during the calendar period, and also completed one runout against Canada.
In recognition of her achievement, Gruny will receive a plaque as well as a $500 DreamCricket.com Pavilion Shop gift card sponsored by New Inning Foundation.